this is the ninth of a series of short reflections celebrating twenty years at cms
navigating change in any institution has its moments. the church of england and other denominations are challenging spaces in which to advocate for and make pathways for newness. they have been around a while and there are lots of vested interests. anyone who works in change will tell you this is entirely normal in any organisation or institution. over the years i have learned a few things about navigating change though recently have found myself drawn to reading more about it again as it resurfaces so often. i am currently reading the change agent by lyle schaller which was written in the seventies but is really good (ht ash barker). but looking back over twenty years on the blog i can see various points where i got so exasperated trying to navigate change and encountering resistance or red tape.
it was actually quite amusing to come across red tape - this installation i did at a cms conference. i was given a free hand so just set it up and amazingly there were no complaints at least that i heard of as i red taped a bible, barrier taped off communion and made a dog collar out of red tape - i think i was feeling there might be some issues of control in the church!!
once cms had been invited to design a training pathway for pioneers i remember the challenge of then tring to persuade the powers that be at the time that what we did was trustworthy and i nearly drowned in red tape.
it wasn't just the church of england - i was wound up by evangelicals attitudes here - you'll have to scroll down to the sept 24 entry but i was surprised reading how blunt i was in response to the neac gathering i attended!
the church of england's response to lockdown and sharing communion provoked me to produce the photo above, rant and write a liturgy about jesus and the powers. i don't know what you have to do to get the church's attention but no one batted an eyelid at that either!
i am enjoying reading holy anarchy at the moment which is from a congregationalist graham adams, who like the united reformed church are non-conformist and have a tradition of dissent. it's made we wonder how i have survived this long in the church of england as i identify strongly with dissent but it is my tribe or my tradition where i think i'll continue to do my best to navigate change, red tape and no doubt continue to get exasperated on a regular basis!